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The Regarde Bien

Issue No. 15




The Farm of Meikle Dempsterton

In the middle ages, the land of Dempsterton comprised a number of smallholdings sublet by the monks of Melrose, whose magnificent abbey was located near the town of Melrose on the Scottish Borders. The land itself derives its name from the dempster, an officer of court who pronounces judgement or doom, and was one of several properties, including Milliganton, which became the hereditary possession of the Kirkpatricks of Ellisland sometime prior to 1465, the details of which can be found in Issue 11 of the Regarde Bien. The family of Amuliganes, who lived in the Dempster’s toun, came to possess hereditary rights to that subdivision called the Meikle land of Dempsterton, the Scots word Meikle means Middle, and was originally valued at 10 shillings Scots. The farm of Dempsterton is still a working farm today and was owned by the Milligans right down until the 1960s. Its location can be seen on the map below, lying just east of the village of Dunscore.




There are a number of other farms of particular interest to us, and probably none more so than Milliganton, which has been highlighted. Others include, the tower of Lag (ruined), the seat of the Griersons, Crawston Hill, which takes its name from Macrath, and Edgarton, Laggan and Merkland, all of which were either occupied or owned by the Milligans at different periods. In fact, the whole area around Dunscore is steeped in “M” history, spanning nearly 600 years, and yet today, there is hardly a single Milligan family left in the area! In the early 1600s, however, the picture was quite different, for there was at least three to four farms known to have been possessed by Milligans, two of which are located in the land of Dempsterton. In the Register of Melrose, the following are abstract charters and precepts granted by Thomas, Earl of Melrose about 1619-20, relate to various properties sublet in the land of Dempsterton:

1. Precept to John Edgar of the 7s. 6d. lands of Little Dempsterton, annual rent 12s. 9d.
2. Charter to Fergus Mulligin of the 10s. lands of Meikle Dempsterton, annual rent 16s. 4d.
3. Precept to Thomas McFadzeane of the 7s. 6d. lands of Newton alias Little Dempsterton, annual rent 13s. 4d.
4. Precept to Robert McMoran of the 8s. 9d. lands of Dempsterton, annual rent 21s.
5. Charter to Gilbert Grierson of the 30d. lands of Dempsterton, annual rent 4s. 8d.
6. Charter to John Kirkpatrick of the 26s. lands of Dempsterton, annual rent of 43s. 4d.

[Romanes, Charles S.: Selections from the Records of the Regality of Melrose 1547-1706 (1917), vol. II, p. 400-403]

Of the six charters and precepts listed above, the properties relating to Fergus Mulligin and Thomas McFadzeane play an important part in the history of the Milligans of Dempsterton, during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. It is important first to locate these two properties in the map below:




The farm owned by Fergus Milligan appears to have been originally located in that part of the land of Dempsterton where the modern farm stands today, whilst the little farm of Newton, which passed into the hands of John Milligan, either one of Fergus’s brothers or cousins, is located south of Dempsterton on the main road leading to the village of Dunscore. In 1645, the hereditary rights to the 10 shilling of land of Meikle Dempsterton was disputed by the Milligans of Newton, a situation that is discussed more fully in the next article. It is evident from the documents that have come down to us that the Milligans of Newton, at the very least, believed they had some right to the property, the basis of which is unclear to me. I hope in later issues to discuss the history of the Milligans of Newton, who like the Milligans of Edgarton, descended from the main branch of Milligans who lived at Meikle Dempsterton.

Fergus Milligan of Dempsterton

At some point during the late 1500s, the Earl of Melrose granted William Amuligane, son of Cuthbert Amuligane in Dempsterton, hereditary rights to 10 shillings worths of land in the Meikle land of Dempsterton. This small farm would remain the property of his descendants for generations to come and was home to many Milligans, whose descendents are now scattered all around the world. I am not sure when William died, but my best guess would place it sometime during the second decade of the 1600s, at a date prior to 1618. He was succeeded by his eldest son Fergus, who I think is the same man styled as Fergus Millegane in Keir Mylne, that is, Keir Mill, one of the servants of Sir William Grierson of Lag, who with many others, on Griersons order, illegally arrested Geillis Roryson in Penfillan, which is situated in the parish of Keir. If the events recorded in this petition submitted to the Lords of Council and Session, are in fact true, it is surely a sorry case indeed.

Holyrood House, Edinburgh, 16th July 1618
Complaint by Geillis Roryson, as follows: - Pursuer has an action before the Lords of Council and Session proceeding against Sir Williame Grier of Lag, Thomas Greir, elder of Pariarge, and Thomas Grier, his eldest son, and on 21st February last raised letters upon an act of the said process to summon certain witnesses for 22nd March. On [blank] last, while she was on her way towards Edinburgh with the said letters and executions thereof, she was met on the highway beside the Keir Mylne by Gilbert Grier of Beuchane, Fergus Millegane at Keir Mylne, and others, armed with swords, &c., sent out at the instance of the foresaid parties, and was arrested by them. She was carried to the dwelling house of Johnne Creichtoun at the Keir Mylne, and there kept “in strait prisone” for 16 days, till they were sure that “the terme of probatioun wes circumduceit and the pairty absolvit”. Again, on Sunday [blank] last, Williame Porter in Keir, Gilbert Grier of Auchingilbert, James Grier, his son, Cuthbert Hairstones in Penfillane, Thomas Hairstonis, his brother, Johne Hairstainis, servitor to Roger Grier of Bus, Johnne Grier of Pundland, Johnne Grier, his son, Roger Grier of Bus, and James McCubene in Blakburne, all tenants and servants of the Laird of Lag, and Thomas Grier of Bariarge, went to pursuer’s house in Penfillane, broke up the door, “tirrit the same house, brak up the kistis also being within the same, cuttit the grene lynt and young growand kaill with[in] the said yaird, shamefullie and unhonnestlie strak and dang hir to the effusioun of hir blood in grite quantitie. And scho haveing fled furth of the said house, thay followit and chaissit hir to the watter of [blank], and compellit hir for just seir of hir lyff to wyde the wattir to hir head, kaist stones at hir in the watter; and scho narrowlie eschaiped with hir lyff”. – Pursuer and defenders appearing, the Lords assoilzie defenders, because pursuer has failed to prove her charges.

[Register of Privy Council of Scotland 1616-1619, Vol. XI, p. 411]

One of the problems facing a research of this kind is distinguishing what other properties a family may or may not have leased in their lifetime. In general, men who held hereditary rights to a particular property, usually their principal seat, took the title of that property such as the Lairds of Blackmyre, who we know possessed several other properties. Lesser men, like the Milligans of Dempsterton, often referred to as kindly tenants or husbandmen, almost certainly leased or rented property on Sir William Grierson’s estate in 1618. Sir William acquired the lands of Penfillan, Waterside, Beuchan, Penmurtie, Parkjarg, Porterstown, Barndennoch, Clinstown, Hillend, Swyre, Kilbride, Fardingjames and Allanton lying in the barony and parish of Holywood in 1613 [1]. They had previously belonged to John, 9th Lord Maxwell, but had fallen into the hands of the king after he was outlawed and executed in 1613. It is also worth remembering that although a person might be referred to as being “of”, it doesn’t always follow that they lived there on a day-to-day basis. He or she may have lived at a nearby village or town, or as appears to be in the case of Fergus, at the mill of Keir.

An extract of the original sasine granting Fergus Amuligane of Meikle Dempsterton has survived and is given below:

April 17, 1620:
Instrument of sasine taken at the hand of Homer Maxwell, notary public, narrating that Thomas, Earl of Melrose, by a Precept dated 6th November 1619 dated at Edinburgh, directed John Wallace in Carsmill his baillie to infeft Fergus Amuligane of Meikle Dempsterton in the 10 shilling land of the land of Meikle Dempsterton formerly occupied by the deceased William Amuligane and now by Fergus, provided the grantor is not held to warrant the infeftment against any infeftment given to a previous infeftee on the right pertaining to John Kirkpatrick of Friars Carse. Witnessed by Thomas Grier of [ … ], John Grier of Kellilago and John Muligane in Newtoune.

[The Dempsterton Writs (ELD), R. C. Reid, vol. XI, p. 114]

The instrument of sasine cited above contains several important pieces of information about the Milligans of Dempsterton and Newton. Firstly, it tells us that the precept granted by the Earl of Melrose was dated at Edinburgh, 6th November 1619, and secondly, that John Milligan was a tenant “in” Newton. There is a subtle difference between the word “of” and “in” when applied to the old Scots language. The former indicates ownership whilst the later indicates the person was an indewller or tenant. So we can say with reasonably certainty that John was only a tenant in Newton of Little Dempsterton in 1619. On the other hand, Fergus is now styled “of” Meikle Dempsterton, rather than being an indweller at Keirsmill. For course, there are always variables to any situation, as is evident in the series of references below:

Border Commissioners held at Jedburgh – 27th August 1622
James Milliekeine in Blakmyre enters Fergus Milliekein in Dunscoir upon panel, and again becomes cautioner in 500 merks for his appearance before the Commissioners at their next Justice Court.
[Register of Privy Council of Scotland, Addenda 1545-1625, Vol. XIV, p. 680]

Border Commissioners held at Jedburgh – 29th August 1622
The said day James Milliekeine in Blakmyre actit him self as cawtionar and souertie for Fergus Milliekeine in Dunscoir, that he sall compeir personallie befoir his Majesties Commissionaries the nixt Justice Court and wnderly his Hienes lawis, wner the pane of 500 merkis money.
[Register of Privy Council of Scotland, Addenda 1545-1625, Vol. XIV, p. 685]

Border Commissioners – 12th February 1623
James Millykene of Blakmyre enters Fergie Millikine of Dunscoir upon panel, and renews his caution in 500 merks for his appearance before the next Court.
[Register of Privy Council of Scotland, Addenda 1545-1625, Vol. XIV, p. 696]

Border Commissioners – 18th April 1623
James Millikine of Blakmyre enters Fergie Millikine in Dunscoire upon panel and is freed of his caution, the panel being dismissed until a new arrest.
[Register of Privy Council of Scotland, Addenda 1545-1625, Vol. XIV, p. 711]


In at least two of the four entries transcribed above James, fourth Laird of Blackmyre is said to be “in” Blackmyre, perhaps a clumsy mistake made by the clerk. In the same entries Fergus is style “in” Dunscore and only once “of” Dunscore, which I take to mean either in the village or parish of Dunscore. Did Fergus for a short time live in the village of Dunscore? He certainly lived in the parish of Dunscore, and it would not be uncommon for a person to take the name of the parish rather than farmtoun. But what in the world was Fergus up to in 1622? Here for the second time, we find the Laird of Blackmyre standing surety for a Milligan of Dempsterton, but why? The Border Commission was an entirely distinct and separate body from the Court of Judiciary, which I have already explained, and therefore requires some explanation to clarify its role and function with the judicial system of Scotland. It became one of the most infamous courts on the Border region of Scotland and England.

The Border Commission of five English and five Scots was established in 1605 to suppress feuds and bring order to the whole of the border region. To enforce the commission’s orders the king appointed Sir William Cranston to lead the Scottish garrison, and Henry Leigh the English garrison, and made Carlisle the Commission’s headquarters. Their rule was ruthless and convicted or suspected criminals were executed, hanged or banished from the realm. On the Scottish borders alone, many of the famous reiver clans, such as the Armstrongs, Elliots, Bells, Croziers, Johnstons, Irvines, Kerrs, Maxwells, Beatties, Carruthers and Moffats, some well remembered names, were banished to the North of Ireland. In the pedigree of the Milligans of Caldwell Hall, England, an ancestor of this family is recorded as having been executed in Carlisle in 1609, presumably on the orders of the Border Commission. By then, nearly all the old border reiver clans had been successfully crushed and the Marches restored to peace.

In 1621, the Commission was resurrected by the Privy Council to suppress the alarming increase of theft and feuding amongst the border families. As one reads through the lists of men summoned to appear at Jedburgh, one cannot but feel pity for them, as many no doubt would have been hanged for the most petty offences. Is it any wonder then, that Fergus decided to make himself absent and he was not the only “M” to do so. Christie Milliekeine in Goldcottis was one of 23 men whom the Border Commissioners declared fugitives and outlawed for non-appearance on 30th August 1622. Robert Jardine of Lammabie, Aymer Millikeine in Drysholme and John Millikeine in Gouldcottis in the parish of Drysdale, finally entered Christie Millikeine on 11th February 1623 and the following day John Jardine of Cleughead became his surety to the sum of 500 merks [2]. The last entry regarding Fergus indicates that he never appeared at Court, and that the Laird of Blackmyre was discharged as cautioner, until a new arrest. Had Fergus fled to Ireland or England? We will probably never know.

Whatever happened to Fergus Milligan, he certainly lived to see another day and died in 1633, twelve years before April 1645, when his son Robert was served heir to his farm. It is interesting to note that James, fourth Laird of Blackmyre, also died in 1633. But why did it take Fergus’s son twelve years to secure his hereditary rights to his father’s property? It is probable he may still have been a minor in 1633. It is also possible he was living aboard. Whichever, on 9th May 1645 James Milligan of Newton mounted a counter claim to the 10-shilling land of Meikle Dempsterton based on a title deed, called letters of disposition and alienation. According to these letters, which are partly cited in an instrument of sasine dated May 1645, the 10-shilling land of Meikle was desponed and alienated by John Milligan of Dempsterton, “which he may have or claim to have”, in favour of his son, James Milligan on 30th April 1629. However, James did not immediately take out an instrument of sasine on the property but left it until 1645. It is possible to trace the steps taken by both Robert and James to secure their respective claims to the 10-shilling land, from the documents given below:

April 29, 1645:
Robertus Amuligane in Meikle Demstertoune, haers Fergusii Amuligane ibidem, petris, - in 10 solidatis terrarum exterris de Meikle Demspsteroun antiqui extentus, in parochial de Dunsoir – E 16s 4d. Special Dumfries.
[Service of Heirs (Index), National Archives of Scotland, No. 184]

May 26, 1645
Instrument of sasine recording that on 9th May 1645 John Fleming, notary public, on certain letters of disposition and alienation dated 30th April 1629, at Crawford, made by John Milligane of Dempsterton, reciting that he did resign, renounce and regress, the whole 10 shilling land of Meikle Dempsterton in favour of his son and heir James Milligane along with all his rights and titles to the said property. And the present instrument witnessed that John Milligane, did resign the land purely and simply and returned the staff, gave from him, in favour of James Milligane in Newtonhead, his son and heir, and resignation being accepted the said baillie gave sasine heritable real, actual and corporal possession of the whole said 10 shilling land with it pertinants to the memorable James Milligane personally present by the donation of earth and stone, as is the custom, paying annually one silver penny Scots money on the said land at the feast of Pentecost. Witnessed by Nicola Grier in Lintburne, John Milligan there, Robert McMurdie in Craigie, Robert Smith in Cleriston and the said John Fleming.
[General Register of Sasines, National Archives of Scotland, RS1/55/29]

June 20, 1645:
Crown precept from Chancery to infeft Robert Amuligane as heir to his father the deceased Fergus Amuligane in Meikle Dempsterton in the 10 shilling land of the lands of Meikle Dempsterton formerly possessed by the deceased William Amuligane father of the said Fergus and then by the said Fergus and now by the said Robert, lying in the parish of Dunscore, formerly held in chief of Thomas, Earl of Melrose, and now of the crown by virtue of resignation of Kirklands, which lands had been in the had of the crown for 12 years from the recovery of sasine.
[The Dempstertoun Writs, Ewart Library, Dumfries, R. C. Reid, Vol. XI, p. 115]


The process was well under way by April 1645, when Robert was found to be the legal heir of Fergus before a jury convened to determine if in fact he was Fergus’s legal heir. The findings of this court were then sent to the Royal Chancery in Edinburgh and registered on 29th April 1645. I haven’t had the actual entry examined, but I feel it may well contain important information about Fergus himself. Meanwhile, James took the letters of disposition and alienation acquired by him in 1629, and took sasine before the notary public on 9th May, which was then registered as an instrument of sasine in the General Registry of Sasines in Edinburgh on 26th May. The whole dispute would then have been investigated at the Chancery, whereupon a crown precept of sasine was issued in favour of Robert, styled in Meikle Dempsterton, on 20th June 1645. He finally secured his title by an instrument of sasine on 8th November of that same year. Not surprisingly, none of the Milligans of Newton appear as witnesses to Robert’s sasine.

In 1629, when Fergus Milligan was still alive, James’s father, John, is styled of Dempsterton suggesting to me that for a time at least, Fergus had left the farm and in his absence, John took over. One gets the distinct impression that either Fergus had done a bunk and fled the country to avoid arrest in 1623, perhaps taking his family with him, or had temporarily signed the property over to John for other reasons. If Fergus had been unable to redeem his rights to the property before his death in 1633 then either John or James would simply have continued to run the farm. It is a great pity that the letters of disposition and alienation dated 1629 have been lost, as they might well have indicated on what basis John held the property. Perhaps the Service of Heir might shed additional light, should someone wish to have it examined. Today, the memory of this dispute is still a topic of conversation, and no doubt, it must have caused quite a stir in the local district at the time. It seems to me, the old family tradition which asserts that the Milligans of Dempsterton came from Ireland has it’s origins in Fergus rather than Cuthbert and had Fergus been living in Ireland, it would certainly explain why the Milligans of Newton had continued to occupy the old farm of Meikle Dempsterton until 1645.
_______________________
1. The lands cited became part of the parish of Keir.
2. Register of Privy Council of Scotland, Addenda 1545-1625, Vol. XIV, p. 690, 694, 696.

Reputed Chief of the Clan in 1612

Over the last few years, several people have written to both Don and I regarding the elusive John Milligan, said to be Chief of the Clan in 1612, when he was hanged. Don and I have also came across the same statement in a heraldic scroll, called The Ancient History of the Distinguished Surname of Milligan, produced by a company going under the registered name of The Hall of Names Inc. It is asserted in their brief ‘Ancient History’ on the Surname, “John Milligan was hanged in 1612 at this time he was Chief of the Clan. They acquired territories in Balmacllane and Dalry in 1688”. There are a number of other equally misleading statements in the ‘Ancient History’ that I neither wish nor care to discuss, save to say that the last sentence cited above, is fairly typical of the kind of outlandish statements that this company has committed to paper. Those familiar with the pages of this newsletter will be aware that James Milligan of Blackmyre was Chief of the Name in 1612, and that it was his grandfather, John Amuligane, who acquired property in the parishes of Balmaclellan and Dalry in 1524 and not 1688.

So who was the elusive John Milligan reputed Chief of the Clan in 1612? The man in question was none other that John Amuligane in Crooks, which lies in the parish of Troqueer, Kirkcudbrightshire. He was hanged for aiding and abating John, 9th Lord Maxwell, a declared traitor of King James VI of Scotland. In his book on Surnames of Scotland, George F. Black, cites the reference to this case, which is found in Robert Pitcairns famous book on Ancient Criminal Trials in Scotland. In his notes Black simply says “Johnne Amulliekin was hanged in 1612”, and makes no mention to John being a Chief. It is almost galling, therefore, to think that some unscrupulous individual, in the interests of embellishing a family history for commercial purposes, found it necessary to add the words, “at this time he was Chief of the Clan”. I have transcribed the full entry found in Pitcairns’ book, so that our readers can formulate their own opinion on what is said of John Amuligane in Crooks. This is a rather awkward text to read, but please note that the clerk uses the old Scots “f” for “s”, e.g. treffonabill is tressonabill.

May 16, 1612: Ninane Airmestrang callit Ninianes Thome, fon to Thomas Airmeftrang; and Johnne Amulliekyn, in Cruikis.

Dilaitit ffor the treffonabill Reffet, fupplie, Intercowmoning, and accumpaneing of Johnne, fumtyme Lord Maxwell, his Maiefteis declairit Tratour, fforfalt in Parliament, for dyuerfe crymes of Treafone and Lefmaieftie, at lenth fpecifeit and contenit in the process and dome of fforfaltour deducet aganis him: And namelie, the said Johnne Amulliekyn, for Reffetting, Suppleing, and Intercowmoning with the faid fumtyme Lord Maxwell, within his awin duelling hous in the Cruikis, and in his barne thairof, vpone the tuentie fax day of Apryle laft bypaft: at the quhilk tyme, he haifing reffauit fra the faid fumtyme Lord Maxwell the fowme of ten pundis; he, for obedience of the faid Lord Maxwallis directioun, paft thairwith vpone the morne thaireftir to the Toun of Dumfreis, to the said Niniane Airmeftrang, quhair thay bocht ane hagbut and ane pair of fchone (shoes), quhilk was delyuerit be the faid Johnne Amulliekin to the faid Niniane, to be gevin to the faid fumtyme Lord; conforme to the said Johnne Amulliekyn his Depofitioun, maid by him in prefens of my Lord Chancellar, and vtheris Lordis of his Maiefteis Previe Counsell: And ficlyk, the said Niniane, for Intercowmoning and keeping companie with the faid Johnne, fumtyme Lord Maxwell, declairit Tratour, in the faid moneth of Apryle lasftbypaft, be the fpace of five dayis togidder, in the Langwoid and Schillingtonehill; and for bringing of ane hagbut fra James Louk, and delyuering the fame to the faid Lord Maxwell, his Maiefteis declairit Tratour; and bringing of the faid vther hagbut, with the pair of fchone reffauit be him fra the faid Johnne Amulliekyn, within the tound of Dumfreis, and delyuering the famyn to the faid Lord Maxwall; as at lenth is contenit in thair Dittayis. In doing quhairof, the faidis Johnne and Niniane had committit manifeft Treasone: And thairfoir, according to the Lawis of this realme, had incurrit the panes and pwneifchment of tynfell (loss, deprivation) and fforfaltour of lyfe, landis, and guides, to be inflictit vpone thame; to the terrour of vtheris. Verdict: - The Affyfe, be the mouth of Dauid Bailzie, burges of the Cannongait, chancellar, ffand, pronuncet, and declairit, all in one voce, the faidis Johnne Amulliekyn, and Niniane Airmeftrang, and ather of thame, to be ffylit, culpable, and convict of the crymes aboue fpecifeit in thair Dittay; and that in refpect of thair awin Judiciall Confeffioun and Depofitiones producet. Sentence: - To be tane to the mercat croce of Edinburgh, and thair to be hangit vpone ane gibbet, quhill thai be deid: And all thair landis, heritages, guides, and geir, gif thai ony half, to be fforfaltit and efcheit to his Maiefteis vfe, as convict, etc.

[Pitcairns, Robert: Ancient Criminal Trials in Scotland, Vol. III, p. 223]

The Amuliganes in Crooks were an old border reiver family who supported the cause of the Maxwells against the Johnstones, in what was one of the bloodiest feuds on the Western Marches, which embraced the shire of Dumfries. This feud escalated during the 1580s, when John, 8th Lord Maxwell, Earl of Morton, a rival of Sir John Johnstone of that Ilk, ordered his followers to oppose Johnstone’s wardenship of the Western Marches, an act that eventually culminated in an armed riot in the burgh of Dumfries in 1584, when Johnstone tried to make one of his family Provost of Dumfries. Maxwell, with his armed men and Armstrongs behind him, barred Johnstone from entering the burgh in July 1584. Eventually, Maxwell was outlawed in 1585, following a trial brought before the Scottish Parliament in that year. An Act of Parliament stripped Maxwell of his title Earl of Morton whilst his followers were pardoned. The names of the men pardoned are listed in the Acta Parliamentorum, and number about 2000 men, his kinsmen, followers and private army. There are several Amuliganes listed in the pardon rolls and are given below [1]:

Parish of Troqueer
Thomas Amilligane in Cargen

Parish of Crossmichael
John Amilligane in Little Dryburgh, Thomas Amilligane in Dunjarg

Lord Maxwell’s private army
Companies
Corporal Thomas Salwright: - Thomas Amilligane
Corporal Richard Lockhart: - James Amilligane
Captain William Maxwell: - Henrie Amilligane
Captain John Maxwell: - Cubie Amilligane [2]

Although pardoned, Maxwell and his followers continued the feud, which embroiled nearly the whole of the Western Marches until 1586, when Maxwell was finally imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle and then exiled from the kingdom. After a period in exile, Maxwell returned to Scotland only to be re-arrested in 1588 and twenty-two of his kinsmen executed for conspiring to support the Spanish invasion. Incredibly, Maxwell’s life was spared, and by 1592, he was released from prison and granted the post of warden. However, the good will that he had acquired was short lived, and in the following year, Maxwell and Johnstone along with their clansmen and followers came face to face in an armed battle fought at Dryfe Sands near Lockerbie, where on 6th December, 1593, John 8th Lord Maxwell was killed along with an estimated number of 700 men. After Dryfe, the Johnstones were outlawed, but despite attempts to reconcile both families, the feud lingered on until 1608. In that year, under the guise of a meeting aimed at reconciling both families, John 9th Lord Maxwell, shot his rival Sir James Johnstone of that Ilk, twice in the back for the murder of his father in 1593, and with this, he fled to the continent. [3]

In his absence, the Scottish Parliament tried, condemned and declared Maxwell a traitor, and anyone who sought to help him. Maxwell returned prior to 1612, and found refuge amongst his kinsmen, at least until he was betrayed by one of them. The farmtouns of Cargane, now spelt Cargen, and Cruiks, now spelt Crooks, lie in the parish of Troqueer, and where in 1612, respectively, the property of John 8th Lord Maxwell and Richard Herries of Mabie. Both Maxwell and Herries were kinsmen. Although, Ninian Armstrong and John Amuligane were tenants of Richard Herries of Mabie, they were evidently sympathisers of Lord Maxwell, despite his fall from grace. Of John Amuligane, he certainly took a huge risk harbouring Maxwell in his own house and barn, a price that he paid dearly for with his own life at the gallows in Edinburgh. That John was a tenant of Richard Herries of Mabie is not in doubt, as Herries appointed John Amuligane in Crooks his baillie on 11th January, 1606, for the purpose of infefting James Rig in Greenmerse in one fifth part of the lands of Crook in the barony of Mabie [4].

In 1613, we find Richard Herries of Mabie conferring two fifths part of the land of Crooks to Adam Sturgeon in Millarland by a precept of sasine dated 24th May 1613, which was witnessed by John Wright in Cargen, Robert Rig in Crooks, Henry Muligane, John Clerk and Adam Sturgeon, younger [5]. It would appear Henry succeeded John suggesting he was probably his son, and possibly the same Henrie Amilligane, enlisted in the company of Capt. William Maxwell. I have often wondered if perhaps Henry Muligane was the father of Henry Mulligan who in 1663 purchased land on the manor estate of Ballycastle in County Londonderry from Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardtoun in Kirkcudbrightshire [6]. I think this is a strong possibility as the lands of Orchardtoun and Crooks lie in the eastern half of Kirkcudbrightshire, and both families had links with Lord Maxwell’s family. It is also worth noting that the Milligans of Crooks and Cargen are known to have been near relations to the Milligans of Dempsterton, but more on this in a later issue.
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1. Thomson, Thomas (editor): The Acts of the Parliament of Scotland 1124-1707, Vol. III, p. 389-395.
2. Note: Cubbie Amilligane is probably the same Cubbie who lived in Edgarton near Dempsterton.
3. Fraser, George MacDonald: The Steel Bonnets, The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers, p. 180.
4. Cunningham’s Protocol Book 1581-1611, R. C. Reid, p. 30.
5. Ditto, p. 30.
6. See issue 9 of the Regarde Bien.

The Mullikins of Friertoun

At least three generations of Mullikins are known to have lived in Friertoun, which is located in the parish of Perth, during the first half of the 1600s. Its head is traced to William Mullikin, who with several other tenants in Friertoun placed a decree before Archibald, Earl of Argyll, which had evidently been granted by the Lords of Council on 15th July 1606. In Scottish law a decree is technically a final judgement and when granted by the Lords of Council, a decree of this type, enables a lower court, such as the sheriff or barony court, to carry out diligence, that is, the execution of a civil action against a debtor. In the case cited below, William and his fellow pursuers had evidently sought to recover a debt from the late John Dow McEwen and Patrick Burroch, presumably at the Earl of Argyll’s barony court. This suggests both John Dow McEwen and Patrick Burroch were the Earl’s tenants.

Edinburgh, 15th July 1606
Archibald Campbell, brother of James Campbell of Laweris, for Archibald Earl of Argyll, to put a decree obtained before him by Thomas Oplihant in Freirtoun, Alexander Laird there, Thomas Buchane there, William Mullikin there, and John Colt in Crag, against the late Johne Dow McEwne and Patrik Birroch, to due execution against them if it be found that he ought to do the same.

[Register of the Privy Council of Scotland 1604-1607, p. 644]

A more detailed search of the Argyll estate records may reveal information on William Mullikin in Friertoun and the outcome of this case. However, a search of this scale is time consuming. The parish records of Perth provide the next important source of information relating to this family. In the baptismal register of Perth, the names of three sons born to James Mullikin in Friertoun are recorded, all which are detailed below. It seems reasonable to assume that James was the son of William, as he named his eldest son William, a pattern much in keep with the Scottish tradition of naming.

William Mullikin baptised on 1st April 1621 and witnessed by Mr. Henry Anderson and Andrew Bell.
Thomas Mullikin baptised on 29th May 1625 and witnessed by Thomas Methven and Thomas Keir.
James Mullikin baptised on 2nd March 1628 and witnessed by Thomas Methven and Thomas Keir. [1]


The last will and testament of James Mullikin in Friertoun survives and records that he died on 29th December 1639. In his will he names his spouse, Isobel Broun, his “only executor and universall intromittor with his goods and tutrix (tutor) testamentar to William, Thomas, James and Mairgarit Mulekins their lawful bairns” [2]. He left his whole third of free goods and debts to his three youngest bairns Thomas, James and Margaret for their education and for putting the boys to crafts. His will also names his immediate landlord as Thomas Ross, and states that the will was faithfully delivered up by James’s own mouth on 18th December 1639 in the presence of William Aitken, maltman and burgess of Perth, Thomas Ross in Friertoun and Henry Broun, notary public. Amongst other things, the inventory includes “ 2 ky, one year old stirk ane broun mare, ten heid of sheep”. It is worth noting that in 1639, Scotland was in a state of civil war with Covenanters and Royalists vying for power.

Only Margaret’s marriage to John Murray is recorded in the Perth register of marriages. It records that on 29th July 1665, in the presence of Patrick Young, elder of the church, “compeared Johne Murray and Margarett Mulikine both in this parish and gave in ther names in purpose of marriage, consignit thrie rex dollars and gave 10 shillings to the poore. Maried the last August 1665” [3]. This is the first reference I have come across where the dollar is used as legal tender in Scotland. Prior to the Union of Scotland and England, the standard Scottish currency was calculated in terms of merks, shillings and pennies Scots. I would be interested to learn the value of the king's dollar and if it was a common currency in the 1600s? There are no marriage entries relating to her three brothers. However, there is some indication James Mullikin in Friertoun moved to the Canongate area of the City of Edinburgh. As yet, I haven't had the baptismal marriage records of Canongate examined, but believe the basis of this assertion is tenable.

The Milligans of Caldwell Hall

The Milligans of Caldwell Hall in Derbyshire, England, like the Millikens of Milliken in Renfrewshire, Scotland, descend from the ancient family of Amuligane in Nithsdale and made their fortune in the 1700s, through trade with the West Indies. I hope in later issues to re-examine parts of the early history relating to this family and in particular the elusive Rev. Peter Milligan, Minister of Colvend in Kirkcudbrightshire. As already observed his son, Charles Milligan, was beheaded at Carlisle, England, in 1609 and according to this pedigree he was the ancestor of John Milligan of New York, USA. I have transcribed the pedigree as it appears in Burke’s Peerage.

Lieut.-Col. Charles Milligan of Caldwell Hall, Co. Derby, J.P., Lieut.-Col. (retired) late 39th Regt.; born 1st July, 1832; married 12th December, 1860, Gertrude, daughter of Sir Charles Shakerley, Bart. of Somerford Park, Co. Chester, and has issue;

  1. George Dunbar, late Capt. Coldstream Guards, born 13th January, 1863.
  2. Frank William, born 19th March, 1870.
  3. Eva Gertrude.
  4. Ada Catherine.
  5. Blanche Justina.
  6. Hilda Caroline.

Lieut.-Col. Milligan was adjutant of his regiment in the Crimea, and served also as A.D.C. to Major-Gen. Lord Willam Paulet, commanding the Light Division. He received the medal and clasp, the 5th class of the medjidie, and the Turkish medal.

Lineage: - Rev. Peter Milligan, Minister of Colvend, ordained 1513, married Elizabeth daughter of Samuel Leg of Dalbeattie, in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, Galloway, and died 1564, aged 70, having issue:

1. Herbert Milligan, of whom presently.
2. Charles Milligan had lands in Annandale, was taken prisoner by the English and beheaded at Carlisle in 1609, aged about 60 years. He left issue:

  1. Charles Milligan, married and had issue.
  2. John Milligan, Lieut. R.N. from whom descended John Milligan of New York, USA.

The eldest son Herbert Milligan, married Janet only child and heir of David Clarke of Barcloy, and died March, 1626, aged 103, and was buried at Colvend. He had two sons, Peter and David.

The eldest son Peter Milligan, married Janet daughter of William Davidson of Buittle and died 1673, aged 66, leaving two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, and one son and heir:

Peter Milligan of Dalbeattie in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, married Agnes daughter of David Murray of Barnhourie, and died June, 1718, aged 71, and was buried at Colvend, leaving issue.

  1. Charles Milligan of Shieldhill, married Mary daughter of Samuel Kirkpatrick of Kirkmirran (sic. Kirkmittin), and died 1758, having left issue:

    1. Peter, of the Isle of Wight, married and had issue.
    2. Peggy, married Andrew Clarke of Barnhourie.

  2. David Milligan of Dalbeattie, married Mary daughter of John Learmont of Green Hawthorn, and had issue, with others who died in infancy:

    1. Peter, an officer in the Navy, died unmarried.
    2. David, of whom presently.
    3. Esther, married Thomas Porter of Kirkcudbright, and died 1771.
    4. Elizabeth, married James Callander of Liverpool, and had issue; Robert and Mary.

  3. James Milligan of Fairgirth, married Margaret daughter of John Smith of Legsbridge.

  4. Peter Milligan in Kirkbean, married Sarah daughter of Charles Blair in Glenstocken on December 22, 1731, and had sons; Charles and William; and daughters; Marion, Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, Peggie and Jannet.

  5. John Milligan of Kirkbean, married Mary daughter of Hugh Paterson of Kirkbean, and died 1764, leaving issue:

    1. James, born 30th January, 1739, married 29th November, 1764, Ann daughter of William Lindsay of Corsock, and had issue; Mary.
    2. William, born 29th December, 1741.
    3. Esther, married John Kittrick of Kirkcudbright.
    4. Elizabeth, married George Kirkpatrick of Gelston.

David Milligan of the City of London, merchant and second son of David Milligan of Dalbeattie, married 10th September, 1759, Marion daughter of Robert Clarke of Castle Cravie, and died leaving no heir. His property passed to his cousin:-

Robert Milligan of Roslyn House, Hampstead, Co. Middlesex, Deputy Chairman of the West India Dock Company, and founder of those docks, where there is a statue to his memory; born at Dumfries, 19th August, 1746, the son of James Milligan of Dumfries; married at Kingston, Surrey, 13th October, 1781, Jean daughter of William Dunbar of Forres, Co. Elgin, by Jean daughter of William Davidson of Tulloch, and by her (who died 14th January, 1820) had issue:
  1. Robert Milligan of Eastridge, Ryde, of the 11th Light Dragoons and 2nd Life Guards, fought at Waterloo; born 28th August, 1787; married 1816, Elizabeth Margaret daughter of Matthew Baillie, M.D.; and died 21st December, 1875, leaving by her (who died 25th June, 1876) an only child:

    1. Sophia, of Rosslyn Lodge, Weybridge, born 4th July, 1817, died unmarried on 17th September, 1893.

  2. David Milligan of Jamaica, merchant, born 27th April, 1789, and died in that Island, 16th February, 1818.
  3. Harry Milligan, born 1790, married Georgina Matilda daughter of Sir Walter Stirling, Bart. His widow married Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard, Bart.
  4. Duncan Milligan, born 1793.
  5. William Milligan, of whom presently.
  6. Jean Milligan, married 1811, Thomas Hugham, M.P., of Airds.
  7. Justina Milligan, nothing more said.
  8. Mary Milligan, nothing more said.

Robert Milligan of Roslyn House, died 21st May, 1809, being succeeded by his son:

Major Willaim Milligan of Cotswold House, Co. Glouster, of the 2nd Life Guards, born 12th September, 1799; married 25th April, 1831, Caroline daughter of Sir Charles Des Veux, Bart., and by her (who died 24th August, 1884) had issue:

  1. Charles Milligan of Caldwell Hall, see above.
  2. William Henry Milligan, born 26th November, 1833.
  3. Harry Robert Milligan, Lieut.-Col. 60th Rifles, born 25th January, 1835 and died unmarried 3rd July, 1890.
  4. Emily Caroline.
  5. Justina Charlotte.
  6. Alice Katherine.
  7. Mary Louisa.

Major William Milligan died 18th June, 1868, and succeeded by his eldest son Charles.

Arms:- Or, in chief a dexter hand, in base a heart between two spears, the staves rompu erect proper, quartering per fesse, wavy az. and vert, three swans arg. for Clarke. Crest:- A merchant ship under sail, colours flying proper. Motto:- Just in time.
Seat:- Caldwell Hall, Burton-on-trent.

Freeholder’s Registers and Poll Books
In the North of Ireland

The freeholders and voter’s registers are an invaluable source of information and cover individuals entitled to vote at the Parliament elections during the eighteenth century. Poll Books are the books in which the votes cast at Parliamentary elections are recorded. They contain the name and address of the voter and often the address of the 'freehold, which entitled the voter to his vote. Voter lists and Freeholder Registers give similar information to the Poll Books but do not record how people voted at a particular election. It is important, however, to appreciate some of the limitations to this source. In Ireland, Catholics were excluded altogether from voting between 1727-1793. Until 1793, only Protestants with freeholds worth 40 shillings or more a year were entitled to vote and from 1793 to 1829, Catholic freeholders enjoyed the same privilege. It was during this period, that voters registers provide an important auxiliary source for genealogies particularly in counties like Armagh where a fairly complete series of printed registers of freeholders. Occasionally, registers and Deputy Court Cheque books include observations such as ‘gone to America’ or ‘married a papist’. In 1829 all 40 shillings Freeholders lost the vote.

County Armagh

Poll Book 1753
James Mulligan, forty shilling freeholder, Killyruddon.
Gilbert Mulligan, forty shilling freeholder, Tassagh Hill.
William Mulligan, £10 freeholder, Neigh, Gilford, Co. Down.

[PRONI, T.808/14936]

Note: there are no “M” entries in the 1710-36 Poll Book, Co. Armagh.

County Antrim

Freeholder’ Register 1776
James Mulligan of Killyfad, freehold, Granfield.
William Mulligan of Gallagh, freehold Cranfield.

[PRONI, D. 1364/L/1]

County Down

Freeholders’ Register 1780-1785, 1789 & 1790-95
Parish of Donaghadee
1780-1785:
David Mulligan of Donaghadee; freehold in the townland of Donaghadee and registered on 14th January 1783.
1789:
David Mulligan of Donaghadee; freehold in the townland of Donaghadee; lease registered on 14th January 1783; freehold registered on 4th July 1789.
James Mulligan of Carrowbane*; freehold in the townland of Carrowbane; £10 freehold registered on 27th May 1789.
James Milliken of Carrowbane; freehold in the townland of Carrowbane; lease registered on 2nd November 1789; freehold registered on 27th May 1789.

Note: * “married to a papist wife Alice Carr registered too late”.

Parish of Newtownards
1780-1785:
James Mellikin of Ballyskeagh; freehold in Ballyskeagh, registered on 2nd October 1781.
James Mulligan of Ballyskeagh; freehold in Ballyskeagh, registered on 2nd October 1781.
David Milliken of Ballyskeagh; freehold in Ballyskeagh, registered on 7th October 1783.
1789:
James Milliken of Ballywoolan; freehold in the townland of Ballyskeagh; lease registered in 1781; freehold registered on 21st June 1789.
James Mulligan of Ballyskeagh; freehold in the townland of Ballyskeagh; lease registered in 1781; freehold registered on 14th July 1789.
James Milliken of Ballyskeagh; freehold in the townland of Ballyskeagh; lease registered on 2nd July 1780; freehold registered 12th July 1789.
David Milliken of Ballyskeagh; freehold in the townland of Ballyskeagh; lease registered on 21 April 1789; £10 freehold registered on 12th July 1789.
1790-1795:
James Milliken of Milecross hath registered his freehold lying in Ballyskeagh in the barony of Castlereagh on 2nd February 1790.
James Milliken of Ballywoolen* hath registered his freehold lying in Ballyskeagh in the barony of Castlereagh 2nd February 1790.
Hugh Milliken of Ballywoolen* hath registered his freehold lying in Ballyskeagh in the barony of Castlereagh on 2nd February 1790.
David Mulligan of Ballyskeagh hath registered his freehold lying in Ballyskeagh in the barony of Castlereagh 3rd August 1790.

Parish of Knockbreda
1780-1785:
Samuel Mulligan of Braniel; freehold in the townland of Braniel registered on 7th October 1783.
1789:
Samuel Milligan of Braniel; freehold in the townland of Braniel; lease registered on 7th October 1783; freehold registered on 29th June 1789.
Samuel Milligan of Braniel; freehold in the townland of Braniel registered on 16th June 1789.
Thomas Milliken of Belfast; freehold in the townland of Braniel; £10 freehold; lease registered on 18th October 1787; freehold registered on 16th June 1789.
Thomas Milliken of Braniel; freehold in the townland of Braniel registered on 9th July 1789.
Samuel Milliken of Lisnabreeny; freehold in the townland of Lisnabreeny; lease registered on 20th May 1789; freehold registered on 5th July 1789.
Samuel Mullican* of Crega; freehold in the townland of Crega; £10 freehold; lease registered in 1781; freehold registered on 5th July 1789.
1790-1795:
Samuel Mulligan of Lisnabreenay hath registered his freehold lying in Lisnabreenay in the barony of Castlereagh on 16th August 1790.

Note: * joint lease with Wm. John & Sam. McDowell in Cregagh.

Parish of Drumbo
1780-1785:
Thomas Mulligan of Carryduff; freeholder in the townland of Carryduff; freehold registered on 7th October 1783.
1789:
Thomas Mulligan of Carryduff; freehold in the townland of Carryduff, lease registered, 7th October 1783; freehold registered on 29th July 1789.
John Milligan of Melough; freehold in the townland of Melough; lease registered on 2nd December 1788; freehold registered on 18th May 1789.

Parish of Killinchy
1790-1795:
James Milikin of Ravara, hath registered his freehold lying in Ravara in the Barony of Castlereagh on 21st January 1790.

Parish of Killyleagh
1790-1795:
James Milikin of Ballywoolan* hath registered his freehold lying in Ballywoolan in the barony of Dufferin on 3rd August 1790.

Parish of Tullylish
1789:
James Mulligan of Loughans; freehold in the townland of Loughans; lease registered on 10th January 1769; freehold registered on 17th June 1789.
1790-1795:
Samuel Mulligan of Loughans hath registered his freehold lying in Loughans in the barony of Lower Iveagh on 16th August 1790.

Parish of Dromore
1780-1785:
William Mulligan of Islandderry; freehold in the townlands of Islanderry and Gregerlough; lease registered on 23rd October 1783.
1789:
Hugh Mulligan of Ballykeel; freehold in the townland of Ballykeel; lease registered on 12th April 1768; freehold registered on 21st May 1789.
William Mulligan of Islandderry, freehold in the townland of Islandderry; lease registered on 23rd October 1783; freehold registered on 21st May 1789.
William Mulligan of Islandderry, freehold in the townland of Gregerlough; lease registered on 23rd October 1783; freehold registered on 31st May 1789.
James Milliken of Drumanockan, freehold in the townland of Drumanockan; lease registered on 3rd December 1788; lease registered on 31st May 1789.

Parish of Magheradool
1789:
James Mulligan of Ballyloan; freehold in the townland of Ballyloan; lease registered on 3rd December 1788; freehold registered on 14th June 1789.

Parish of Seapatrick
1789:
Dan[iel] Mulligan of Ballievy; freehold in the townland of Derrylough; lease registered on 26th January 1789; freehold registered on 20th May 1789.

Parish of Annaclone
1789:
James Mulligan of Lisnesligan; freehold in the townland of Lisnesligan; lease registered on 20th February 1788; freehold registered on 22nd June 1789.
Robert Mulligan of Lisnesligan; freehold in the townland of Lisnesligan; lease registered on 20th February 1788; freehold registered on 22nd June 1789.

Parish of Aghaderg
1780-1785:
James Mulligan of Classkerbeg; freehold in the townland of Classkerbeg; lease registered on 19th March 1781.
John Milligan of Dromorebreg; freehold in the townland of Dromorebreg; lease registered on 7th October 1783.
1789:
James Mulligan of Glasskerbeg; freehold in the townland of Glasskerbeg; lease registered in 1781; freehold registered on 14th May 1789.
John Mulligan of Dromorebreag; freehold in the townland of Dromorebreag; lease registered on 7th October 1783; freeholder registered on 13th May 1789.
1790-1795:
William Mulligan of Dromorebraig hath registered his freehold in Dromorebraig in the barony of Upper Iveagh on 2nd March 1790.

Parish of Drumgath
1789:
Robert Mulligan of Tullyquilly; freehold in the townland of Tullyquilly; lease registered on 20th May 1789: freehold registered on 1st May 1789.
Thomas Mulligan of Ballydoo; freehold in the townland of Ballydoo; lease registered 13th January 1789; freehold registered on 11th June 1789.
James Mulligan of Rathfriland; freehold in the townland of Rathfriland; lease registered on 26th January 1789; freehold registered on 10th June 1789.
1790-95:
Robert Mulligan of Tullyquilly hath registered his freehold lying in Tullyquilly in the barony of Upper Iveagh on 16th August 1790.

[PRONI: C & P Dow 5/3/1 (1780-85) & 5/3/2 (1790-95), & D.654/A3/1B]

County Fermanagh

Freeholders Register 1796-1802
Patrick Mulligan of Keeramore; freeholder, land in Keeranmore, in the parish of Drumnully, barony of Clankelly; forty shilling, registered 17th October 1796 at Newtownbuttler.

[PRONI, D. 1096/90]

Note: there are no “M” entries in the 1788 & 1796-1802 Fermanagh Freeholders Register.

County Tyrone

Barony of Dungannon Only 1796
Parish of Aghaloo
Alex. Milligan of Kilsannagh; freehold, land in Kilsannagh; forty shilling, registered on 19th February 1796, at Caledon.
Andrew Milligan of Kedew; freehold, land in Kedew; forty shilling, registered on 19th February 1796 at Caledon.
Joseph Milligan of Kedew; freehold, land in Kedew; forty shilling, registered on 19th February 1796 at Caledon.

Parish of Clonfeacle
Alex. Milligan of Kilsanagh; freehold, land in Killygivin; forty shilling, registered on 12th July 1796 at Dungannon.
John Milligan of Carrowcolman; freehold, house & land in Carrowcolman; forty shilling, registered on 25th February at Dungannon.
Robert Miliken of Carrowcolman; freehold, house & land in Carrowcolman; forty shilling, registered on 25th February 1796 at Dungannon.
Thomas Mulligan of Terryscollop; freehold, house & land in Terryscollop; forty shilling, registered on 11th March 1796 at Stewartstown.
William Milligan of Killygivin; freehold, land in Killygivin; forty shilling, registered on 12th July 1796 at Dungannon.

Parish of Derryloran
Robert Milligan of Ballygroogan; freehold, house & land in the townland of Ballygroogan; forty shilling, registered on 3rd May 1796 at Cookstown.

Parish of Donaghendrey
William Millican of Innevalll: freehold, house & land in the townland of Innevall; forty shilling, registered on 3rd May 1796 at Cookstown.

Parish of Desertcreat
William Milligan of Annahavil; freehold, land in the townland of Annahavil; forty shilling, registered on 30th November 1795, at Stewartson.

[PRONI: C. P. Tyrone. 78/1]



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August, 2001.